Irish Motorsport Legend Rosemary Smith passes, aged 86

It was announced today that Rosemary Smith who spear headed motorsports for Irish women has passed at the age of 86.

With a career spanning decades, Smith’s journey is a testament to her skill, determination, and groundbreaking achievements on the racing circuits and rally stages.

Having clinched the ladies’ prize at the Circuit of Ireland Rally in 1964, the year 1965 marked a significant milestone in her career when she, alongside co-driver Valerie Domleo, secured victory in the four-day Dutch Tulip Rally, manoeuvring a factory-entered Hillman Imp through 1,800 miles of challenging terrain.

Beyond the racetrack, Rosemary Smith’s life story is a narrative of resilience and passion. Born in 1937, she defied societal norms, learning to drive at 11 under her father’s guidance.

In the 1990s, Smith expanded her influence by founding a driving school, imparting her wealth of knowledge to aspiring drivers.

Recently Smith penned her memoir “Driven by Rosemary Smith” and in 2022 she was inducted into FIVA ( Fédération International des Véhicules Anciens) Hall of Fame.

Rosemary will be sorely missed by her family, friends and fans but she will be remembered for inspiring Irish women to challenge the status quo and to strive for their dreams.